It doesn’t matter if you, “are a resident of Texas, took delivery in Kansas and registered it to a Delaware corporation,” says Aero & Marine Tax Professionals CEO Thomas Alston. “If your aircraft enters the the state of California any time in the first 12 months of your ownership, the state can assess a use tax on your airplane.” And that tax can add nearly 10% to the purchase price of your general aviation airplane.
When I left for the office on a recent Friday, my oldest daughter, 13-year-old Savannah, gave me an extra tight hug. She knew I would be out at Pierce County Airport (PLU) in the late morning to regain my currency so I could take her… and myself… flying. She was very excited.
“Well, I am now a real private pilot, as of yesterday,” noted an email I received this morning from Jennifer Julian. If you don’t recall, I wrote about Jennifer last May. She survived a double lung transplant, earned her 3rd class medical, and was an active student pilot. She’s now a certificated pilot.
I met Bill Harrelson at the 2009 Copperstate Fly-In. Bill, an efficiency expert, sent me an email detailing the nearly non-stop flight home (Arizona to Virginia) in N5ZQ, a Lancair 320. That was more than three years and one N-number ago. In Thursday afternoon’s EAA e-Hotline I see that Bill is back at it. He flew from Guam to Florida (7,051 nm) non-stop (38 hours, 29 minutes) in N6ZQ, Lancair IV. Congratulations Bill.
Do you own a SPOT or Spidertracks tracker? If so, you might want to keep an eye on the Enhanced Special Report Service (eSRS). Tom George, (AOPA’s Regional Manager in Alaska) and Adam White (Alaska Airmen’s Association past president) worked with Flight Service in Alaska to create eSRS which enhances a VFR flight plan with satellite tracking devices. Flight Service can now be among the people notified if a distress signal goes out. Tom wrote a nice recap on the AOPA Views from the Regions blog.
President Obama has called for changing the depreciation schedule for newly aquired non-commercial aircraft from five to seven years. Jay Carney, the president’s press secretary calls the current two-year schedule difference a special tax loophole. As you might imagine, this has pushed the aviation alphabet groups into damage control mode.
Being of limited ability to comprehend “Washington speak” I decided it would be good to run through a few numbers to see if I could understand (and create some context for myself) what the President is recommending.